Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

OA, or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by deterioration of articular cartilage with subsequent formation of reactive new bone at the articular surface. The joints most commonly affected are the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints of the hands, the first carpometacarpal joint and joints of the hips, knees, and cervical and lumbar spine.

Epidemiology

The disease is more common in the elderly but may occur at any age, especially as sequelae to joint trauma, chronic inflammatory arthritis, or congenital malformation. OA of the spine may lead to spinal stenosis (neurogenic claudication), with aching or pain in the legs or buttocks on standing or walking.

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General Principles

OA, or degenerative joint disease, is characterized by deterioration of articular cartilage with subsequent formation of reactive new bone at the articular surface. The joints most commonly affected are the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints of the hands, the first carpometacarpal joint and joints of the hips, knees, and cervical and lumbar spine.

Epidemiology

The disease is more common in the elderly but may occur at any age, especially as sequelae to joint trauma, chronic inflammatory arthritis, or congenital malformation. OA of the spine may lead to spinal stenosis (neurogenic claudication), with aching or pain in the legs or buttocks on standing or walking.

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